Prosecutors seek 'Hard 50' sentence in Lawrence murder case - KCTV5

Prosecutors plan to seek 'Hard 50' sentence in Lawrence murder case

Posted: Updated:
Monday afternoon's hearing for Sarah Brooke Gonzales McLinn is in Douglas County District Court before District Judge Paula Martin. McLinn is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Harold Sasko. Monday afternoon's hearing for Sarah Brooke Gonzales McLinn is in Douglas County District Court before District Judge Paula Martin. McLinn is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Harold Sasko.
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV/AP) -

Prosecutors plan to seek a "Hard 50" prison sentence against a 19-year-old woman charged with killing a Lawrence businessman.

The announcement was made Monday as Sarah Brooke Gonzales McLinn made her first appearance in Douglas County District Court. McLinn is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old businessman Harold Sasko. Prosecutors also have added a vehicle theft charge against McLinn.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson is not seeking the death penalty, but he said McLinn should spend the rest of her life in prison because of how Sasko died.

"The way the homicide occurred was cruel, heinous and atrocious," Branson said. "It's not very often we have female [murder] defendants. The age, that sort of thing makes it unique. But I think the facts will speak for themselves."

Authorities have said McLinn acted alone and the homicide was premeditated.

But McLinn's attorney, Carl Cornwell, said a "Hard 50" sentence would be like the death penalty. He said he was perplexed by any possible motive in the case.

"What's going on here just doesn't make sense," McLinn said. "Down the road we're going to find out this isn't a whodunit. This is a why."

Sasko owned pizza restaurants in Lawrence and Topeka. McLinn was an employee, and Sasko's relatives have said he let her move into his home while she was having personal problems.

She was arrested in Florida but declined to fight extradition. She was returned to Lawrence late last week. She is being held in the Douglas County Jail on $1 million bond, and her next court appearance is March 27.

Cornwell said he is limited in the assurances he can give his client.

"I just want to tell her everything is going to be OK. But I can't. I can't do that."

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Powered by WorldNow
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.